Category: GEMA, GEMA Externship

Title:My Externship Story: Matthew Stuart

Getting off the plane at LAX last June, I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into with this GEMA internship. I had just gotten back from a semester in Ireland two weeks earlier and wanted nothing more than a relaxing summer in Boston. Now, I was starting all over again in Los Angeles of all places. The cab ride to my apartment didn’t help things either. I decided to take a shuttle to save money. I made the mistake of making polite conversation with the people in the cab. One woman was from Idaho. Despite having just met this woman, she proceeded to recount how her drug addicted daughter had stolen the family car and driven down to Los Angeles. I turned my attention to another woman in the car and got my first dose of Hollywood. The moment I told her I was working for the Montecito Picture Company, she tried to sell me her “fabulous” screenplay. By the time I got to my apartment near UCLA, I was already exhausted.

To make things more difficult, my insurance refused to pay for my car rental. So when I woke up for work at 7:00 the next morning, I had to walk to Beverly Hills, a little more than an hour. And, as soon as I got to work, I found out the secretary and assistant in the small 6 person office were both new, so they sent me home for the day.

However, this summer proved to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life and truly a pivotal moment in my sluggish maturity. While my internship started off slowly, it soon picked up and I really got involved in the company projects. My primary responsibilities were simple: looking for ideas in magazines and newspapers, coverage of scripts and stories, general office tasks, etc. It was really a surprising amount of reading but all enjoyable. While I didn’t necessarily read the best scripts, I did get a better sense of how the Hollywood system works and, as a direct result, I decided to take up Scriptwriting here at Georgetown.

While most of my work was done at the production company, I did get a glimpse into other aspects of the Entertainment industry. While dropping off packages, I got a feel for working at an agency, which is truly an overwhelming experience. I also got to tour the Universal Lot to better understand how the studio fit into the equation.

And there were tons of perks. Thanks to the generosity of my sponsor, Jackie Marcus, I got to go to two Hollywood premiers, Garden State and Mean Creek. I even got to meet some celebrities, whether they wanted to meet me or not. Rhea Perlman was particularly nice about my rambling. GEMA was also great at setting up special events to meet other members of the Georgetown- Los Angeles community. While I imagined trying to mingle with a California crowd, I found a good number of the people were actually from Boston and we spent an hour talking about California weather. Go figure…

Most importantly, I made a lot of friends both with my roommates and coworkers. I found my roommates by chance on a website and we still keep in touch, although none of them are interested in the business. My office mates ended up being the highlight of the summer. Jen, Ken, Kelly, and Jackie really help to ease me in to life in Southern California, and I could not be more appreciative. I would repeat the GEMA experience in a heartbeat and I cannot wait until I return to Los Angeles.